Tori Davis

Berkeley's first Student Ambassador for its innovative Alliance for Global Learning program

Shandricka “Tori” Davis is a Fashion major at Berkeley College planning to graduate in December 2012. This year, Tori had the unique opportunity to represent Berkeley College as a Global Learning Student Ambassador and travel to the Universidade de Guarulhos (UnG) in São Paulo, Brazil.

Interview by Corina Slackman, Communications Manager
September 2012

Describe your experience as a Berkeley College student.

Attending Berkeley College has been a wonderful experience. The opportunities available at Berkeley have been amazing and so much more than I ever expected. I thought I wanted to attend a big college, but when I visited a number of these universities, it was intimidating. Then I heard about Berkeley, and I knew I would get one-on-one attention in a smaller classroom environment.

The professors at Berkeley College have high expectations for their students. They expect students to take their studies seriously and act professionally in and out of the classroom. The faculty at Berkeley College help their students gain the skills necessary to be prepared for a career.

During my time at Berkeley College, I’ve been a student, I’ve worked part-time, and I have been very involved in student activities. I was chosen to visit and tour the New York Stock Exchange and represented Berkeley College in various community events such as the 2012 CPC Walkathon and 2012 Dragon Boat Festival. Additionally, I was the Fashion Show Coordinator for the Women’s Council of Realtors in 2010, 2011, and 2012; a Resident Hall President for two years; and the Fashion Club Treasurer for one year. I was honored to have been chosen to walk with the President’s Party at the 2011 Commencement and received Berkeley College Westchester’s Scholar Leadership Award.

This year, I was given the special opportunity to represent Berkeley College as the Alliance for Global Learning Student Ambassador to the Universidade de Guarulhos (UnG) in São Paulo, Brazil. I am thankful for this opportunity, as it has opened my eyes to a different culture and prepared me for a global career.

What did you learn from your recent travels to Brazil?

Traveling to Brazil has totally changed my perspective and outlook. A global experience is not something one can gain by just sitting in a classroom; it is something that should be experienced. I was only in Brazil for 25 days but I learned so much, even taking Portuguese classes, which I continue to take online with my professor today.

I went to Brazil thinking that my hosts would receive me as a visiting student. They didn’t! They welcomed me as a member of their own family. I learned so much during my trip, but the little things are what have stayed with me. For example, the Brazilian people appreciate food and mealtime conversations. Sharing meals with them made me realize that we (Americans) often rush through life and don’t take the time to connect with family and friends.

During my trip I met with business leaders, was interviewed by newspapers and magazines, and even filmed a TV spot on Berkeley College and the Alliance for Global Learning.

My favorite part of the ambassadorship to UnG was meeting and getting to know other students who, like me, want to experience another culture and learn another language.

What would you tell other students who are thinking about traveling overseas?

Do it! Having a global experience gives you a competitive advantage and prepares you for careers that require an international perspective. It opens so many more professional opportunities, as companies look for candidates who have traveled abroad and speak a second or third language.

What are your career aspirations? What do you plan to do after graduation?

I plan to get my Master’s degree, most likely in Europe. My goal is to create and manage my own global fashion brand.

Thank you for talking with me today. Do you have anything else to add?

My experience made me change the way I think about the world. It opened up my eyes to many opportunities, and I can now honestly say, “I have a global mind.”